So I was looking at a nice CS36T in good condition - except I noticed signs of water damage around the mast partner hole. The ceiling plywood was warping, black spots on the wood, etc. I also noticed about 5 or 6 stress cracks in the glass around the same area topsides which made me think the mast might be stressing the deck.
So I asked the owner about this and he confirmed there was damage done during a mast stepping and also the seal is worn.
Not knowing how much work is involved in repairing this, and Google not being helpful, I thought I would ask here. Is this a buy/no buy sort of problem? How much will it cost to fix it? Is it an easy do-it-yourself sort of fix?
I don't want a boat that I have to repair before I can get her onto the water. I should note that this would be my first boat.
First, I want to congratulate you on your perspicacious choice in fine yachts. You want to sign up with the CSOA discussion group CS Owners Associations E-mail List Server
for CS help.
\What you describe I would think common with 36Ts, certainly exists on mine. The mast sits on the keel and cannot stress the deck. The halyards all turn on the mast collar and they could stress the deck, the reason for the heavy rigging connecting the underside of the mast collar to the hull buttom. I would think it common to see minor stress cracks around corners for the frame form that surrounds the mast collar. A surveyor needs to look for any delamination in this area of the deck - whether there are stress cracks or not - no delamination, no problem. This area will only be damaged by water and winter.
It is very difficult to fit a watertight mast boot on a 36T as there is only an inch or so of open mast between the top of the collar and the bottom of the halyard exit boxes, thus leaking boots are common, leading to staining/delam of the fragile thin ply that serves as the underlayment of the celiing panels. Any damage is cosmetic. I cleaned my ceiling area with with some teak cleaner and reset with gorilla glue, added a teak trim collar and it looked fine. The proper prevention is to install a Spartite mast collar and the struggle will be over.
So what you have said about this boat would not concern me at all.
But if you are going to become a yacht owner, especially a well-engineed and sophisticated vessel like a 36T which are usually well equipped with systems, gear and extras, you need to get real about what it means to own a yacht. Boats in general, and yachts like this in particular, require regular ongoing maintenance and upgrades, you can pay hand-over-fist large amounts to a yard to work for you, or spend less money and lots of your own time, to keep your jewel in proper shape. Unless you are paying a premium price to an anal money-is-no-object seller, the typical boat of this size, including a CS should have four or five outstanding problems deserving of attention and money, that make the problem you ask about trivial - its the other ones you need to discover. Assuming you pay cash and keep the boat on a mooring, plan $5000 a year and and an additional $5000 every second or third year, and don't expect to get any of it back when you part with the boat.
Boats are holes in the water into which you throw money, lots of it and on a regular basis, and if you are uncomfortable with that concept you are not ready to join the sailing fool congregation.